When Karl Lagerfeld took over Chanel, the famed French fashion house, in 1983 no one could have expected the massive impact he would end up having on the fashion industry. Obviously to become the head designer at a house as prolific as Chanel is a feat that not just anyone could accomplish. Over the next four decades, Karl Lagerfeld would become one of the most iconic fashion designers in history. Now, after his sudden death in Paris just this morning, the fashion industry mourns one of its most influential leaders of all time.

Remembering Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld got his start in the fashion industry when he won a design competition in 1955. The win set Lagerfeld up with a position at Pierre Balmain as the assistant to the designer. He worked in that position for three years, until moving to Jean Patou where he was able to design couture collections under the fashion house. Over the next few decades, Lagerfeld made his way through the European fashion industry with positions at several famous houses. In 1964, Lagerfeld began freelancing for Chloe as a designer. In 1965 he began working with Fendi, where he would remain up until his death in 2019. Lagerfeld was a profound influence on the luxury fashion world for nearly seventy years.

Reports that Karl Lagerfeld’s health began declining surfaced in January of 2019, and many noted that the designer was absent from fashion week events around the world. The creative director of Fendi and Chanel had worked up until then, when he took a break for health reasons to get some rest. Lagerfeld checked in to the American Hospital of Paris hospital last night and died yesterday morning, as confirmed by Chanel. The fashion house has not announced or confirmed any cause of death thus far.

Response

In the wake of the death of Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion industry mourns a leader that held a profound influence. Anna Wintour, the equally iconic editor in chief of American Vogue spoke up about the death of her colleague just yesterday. “Today the world lost a giant among men,” said Wintour in a statement released yesterday morning on Vogue’s website. The fashion magazine editor released a touching statement about Lagerfeld’s legacy as one of the most prolific creators of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Many other members of the fashion industry have spoken up in memory of the late fashion designer. Donatella Versace took to instagram to write about Lagerfeld. “We will never forget your incredible talent and endless inspiration,” she wrote in a post accompanying a recent photo of the two, where Lagerfeld can be seen in his signature white ponytail paired with black sunglasses.

Neither Chanel nor Fendi, who operate on behalf of the late Karl Lagerfeld, have released information regarding the cause of death. Lagerfeld leaves behind a massive legacy from his prolific career as a creative director at two of the most iconic fashion houses in history. His latest designs will be seen on the runways at Paris Fashion Week, which will take place in just a couple of days.